Islay Mist 8 years old
This blend was recently made available at the LCBO for about $28, putting it in the same category as Crown Royal, The Famous Grouse, Johnnie Walker Red, and Jameson. It is based around Laphroaig single malt, though there are also highland malts and of course grains in the blend.
The nose shows soft smoke, a bit of Laphroaig's medicinal peatiness, but also the gentle sweetness of sherried malt. On the palate there is a perfect integration of grain, sweet malt, and spicy smoke flavour. Nothing really dominates. It comes across as a tad simple but it has a nice honied sweetness and good body to it. Very pleasant and easy-drinking, more of a full-bodied blend than Teacher's or Ballantines, and more flavourful than Grant's. Goes nicely after dinner. The finish leaves some smokiness on the tongue but it doesn't persist like a strong Islay malt. This is certainly one of the best Scotch blends under $30 available in Ontario. Call me crazy but on most occasions I think I would actually prefer this to Laphroaig. The problem is that, unlike Laphroaig, this stuff goes down fast.